We decided to get our Temporary Resident Cards for Mexico pretty much right after we made the decision to move here. Before when Glenn lived in San Miguel he would do the 6 month tourist visa run (you leave every 6 months and come right back for another 6) but we didn’t think that practical and we knew we wanted to stay here permanently. So we started looking up the visa requirements and found that every Mexican Consulate had different financial requirements and different reviews. We were closer to San Francisco’s but heard how hectic and unhelpful they were so we decided to go to Sacramento and were glad we did. You can read about that part of the adventure in our blog post Visas for Sunshine and Sangrias in Our Hot Little Hands.
We got through customs and immigration in Mexico City easily. It took us about 3 minutes to show the immigration official our passports and the Temporary Resident Visas and ask for a Canje for 30 days only. Stamp!! Smiley face, and on to baggage. Picked all of ours up and headed out the door. No customs, or being pulled over etc. Our simplest country entry ever. And no attitude about us being from the United States. We are going to like it here!!
Once we settled in we contacted Sonia Diaz, our visa facilitator and then some, to start with the process of receiving our Temporary Resident Card. We had emailed her several times before we left to find out more about what we needed to bring down and had emailed some of the information she needed beforehand. So we were pretty much set to go. She is extremely helpful, organized and nice. We also used her for our Seguro Popular (Public Health) membership and eventually will for our driver’s licenses.
We made an appointment for her to come to our house in order to give her special sized photos (less than postage stamp size), our passports, INM card from the airport and to have us sign some papers. The whole thing for two TR cards valid for a year plus her fee was 12,400 pesos (or $670). She took our passports to the INM office and registered everything and then returned our passports to us the next day, also at our home. We are now waiting to go in and give INM our fingerprints. This could happen in 4-5 weeks. When ready Sonia will actually stand in line for us and let us know when to come down so we don’t have to wait a long time. Fantastic! We got our photos done at Don Polo across from the INM office. Don’t be surprised at the look of it. It is basically a room with a cubicle in it. We thought we were in the wrong place.
If anyone is thinking of applying for Temporary or Permanent Residency in San Miguel, our advise is to use Sonia. Sometimes it is just worth it to pay out the money to save yourself a lot of hassle and aggravation. And after selling our house and then the big move, we were certainly not into figuring out everything on our own with a limited amount of Spanish.
We will let you know what happens next so watch this page.
MAY 25, 2018
After waiting for weeks we were notified by Sonia that we had our appointment to meet her at the INM office for fingerprinting. When we arrived she had been waiting as first in line for quite awhile before the office opened. Once again, so glad we used Sonia and this path to get our Temporary Resident cards. When the doors opened and we went into the building it would have been hard for us to determine what to do if we had been by ourselves. There was a small desk over on the side with no one sitting at it. Sonia had us sign in, get numbers and then go with her upstairs to wait in an area with about 25 chairs. It was early so there were not a lot of people initially, although the area filled up just a bit later. There were people at 3 desks in front of us each with piles of manila folders surrounding them. How did they keep organized? Several of those waiting were called before us even though we had the first numbers. Maybe they go in order of what the business is? We don’t know. After about 45 minutes it was our turn. They had our applications which they had us check, added some photos to the papers, had us do our fingerprints and Viola! it was done and we were able to go into Centro in time for our morning Spanish class.
JULY 13, 2018
Yippee!!! We finally got our Temporary Resident cards in our hands so we are official. This is a big milestone for us as we love being here. A few things happened along the way though. Luckily we did not have to leave Mexico while our cards were being processed so it was just a matter of being patient. We thought we were going to receive the cards weeks ago but then the office here ran out of the ink needed to do them. Then the ink came and they ran out of the cards to print them on. We were told that this was not just happening in San Miguel, but also elsewhere in the country. We have some friends who were also waiting for their cards to be done. One was luckily enough to get hers only a day or two before the delay. She had to return home for a job so this was perfect timing. Another friend who needs to return to the States now is having to get a special permit letter to travel since her card hasn’t come. So, if you are planning on becoming a temporary or permanent expat in Mexico make sure you have a good 2-3 months of open time, not traveling out of the country, to do so.